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Profiles of Students, Staff, Teachers

Murphy Hossink, sixth grade, Highlands Middle; Camp volunteer Naideli Loyo, senior, Wyoming High; and James Dubin, eighth grade, North Rockford Middle, learn how to listen to the heart

Students explore, learn, create at summer camps

A pair of four-day “camps” at Kent Career Tech Center are giving students the chance to explore what it’s like to work in culinary arts, automotive repair, engineering, construction and more...

Leadership program put teens on track for summer jobs

Teen Outreach, which meets weekly during the school year, has three components: life-skills development; job placement and community service...

From the ballpark to the open road, summer gigs keep this English teacher busy

When do you see a public school teacher driving a Porsche? When it’s somebody else’s Porsche...

Running the good race, from refugee camp to top student-athlete

Jama Jafari Jama has been through rough times, but he says nothing will stop him in the long journey now before him, starting with a scholarship at Aquinas College...

MySchool@Kent students overcome obstacles to get to graduation

Students choose online high school for a variety of reasons. Here, a few of this year’s graduates reflect...

Her overarching goal: to teach that American ideals are worth striving for

Rebecca Debowski witnesses and guides her students as they learn to look at things in a more nuanced way and respect what one another have to say, from every perspective...

‘She will fill your bucket if you are empty’

This art teacher provides a solid skill base, then encourages her students to infuse their work with elements of their own lives. And she shares her own, which she says creates a safe space for them to reflect...

Strong faith, desire to help pushes her to be healing force through song

Despite tremendous loss, and mental and physical ailments, MacKenzie Van Dorp is off to the country music capital to pursue a career in music...

A ‘drive to do good in the world’

Born in Paris, Léa Schmitt and her family moved to Grand Rapids from France in time for the last few weeks of her sixth-grade year at Breton Downs. She barely spoke English...

Family and friends pushed her to excel, grad says

To some, using a wheelchair might mean marching band was out, but not for Sarah Abma...

Giving back as others gave to them

Three sisters, refugees from Rwanda, devote their Monday evenings to volunteering at the Learning Café, an education center in Grand Rapids that serves refugee children...

This Mr. T is no tough guy, but a gentle friend to students

Volunteer Charles Travis, 83, is a retired General Motors toolmaker who has spent the past years devoting six hours a week to helping students at the ECC read...

If you give a kid a 3D printer he will want to be a...

Graduate Bryan Rosello Lizardo overcame challenges and struggles, and is headed to the University of Michigan...

From conflict to commencement: African refugee finds success through perseverance

In the fall, Jeanette Mukampabuka will begin studying for an engineering or nursing degree at Western Michigan University and wants to eventually pursue her master’s degree...

Dedicated educator retiring after 44-year career, during which “I knew ‘em all”

When the school bells ring and they throw open the doors at Northview Public Schools this coming autumn, it’s likely Dan Duba, principal at Crossroads Middle School, will be elsewhere. For the first time in 44 years...

Toughing it out through troubled times, she sets her sights on college

Before coming to the district, Ivy and her two brothers -- one older, one younger -- had lived in 16 different homes and been in and out of a half-dozen schools as a result...
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